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Sons and Lovers

D. H. Lawrence

Book Overview: 

This intimate portrait of a coal-miner’s family fastens on each member in turn: Walter Morel, the collier; Gertrude, his wife; and the children: William, Annie, Arthur, and Paul. When Mrs. Morel begins to be estranged from her husband because of his poor financial sense and his drinking habits, she comes to inhabit the lives of her children – most particularly, her sons. She is determined that they will grow to be something more than men that come home blackened with coal dust every day and roaring with drink every night. As each grows up and moves away, she must release him. But Paul, she holds; they have a bond that defies time and the attractions of young women.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Cold, and unhappy, and silent, they huddled together on the platform.

At last, after more than two hours, they saw the lights of an engine peering round, away down the darkness. A porter ran out. The children drew back with beating hearts. A great train, bound for Manchester, drew up. Two doors opened, and from one of them, William. They flew to him. He handed parcels to them cheerily, and immediately began to explain that this great train had stopped for HIS sake at such a small station as Sethley Bridge: it was not booked to stop.

Meanwhile the parents were getting anxious. The table was set, the chop was cooked, everything was ready. Mrs. Morel put on her black apron. She was wearing her best dress. Then she sat, pretending to read. The minutes were a torture to her.

"H'm!" said Morel. "It's an hour an' a ha'ef."

"And those children waiting!" she said.

"Th' train canna ha' come in yet," he said.

"I tel. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Generally considered Lawrence's masterpiece, it is ranked 9th on the Modern Library 100 best books of the 20th century. The story of Paul Morel and his brothers and the influence of the women in their lives, especially of their mother. I think the age old theme of men trying to find a wife or lov...more

Being Smothered by Controlling Mother
Domineering Mommy

Coal Mining Son

"You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can't stand to say goodbye.
Mama I'm comin' home.
Ozzy Osbourne, Mama, I'm Coming Home, 1991.

D.H. Lawrence, one of my personal favorites, seems to have told a tale no truer than his larg...more

The storyline is in the name, Sons and Lovers, but what you don't expect are the subtleties of the Oedipus complex or Freudian allegory. It was a surprisingly sensational read for me, especially since earlier this year, I gave myself a classics challenge: to read and re-read a few classics just...more

I attempted to read this book twice years ago. I failed to finish each time, finding the novel laborious. Now, married and with children, I have read through this book eagerly. It is perhaps a half-lifetime of experience that has allowed me to see this story in a different light. The examination...more

'Sons and Lovers' is an excellent book on several fronts. It is a story of a young man who is a budding writer. One sees the poet in him. He is sensitive, forlorn and deeply contemplative. He possesses all the mythic features we often assign to artists. We see him discussing books with his girlfr...more

There has been a robbery. A theft on a grand scale. Cleansed of the detritus of a self, a presence, an ability to act on desire, he waits to be alit upon…The fretwork strums a baroque dirge as an accompaniment to realizations of the smallness of any life upon the vastness of the universe and its...more

I started the year transfixed by the visceral floral and fiery passion of Lawrence's The Rainbow (my review HERE). Its rich earth ripened buds of promise into irresistible blooms of vibrant delicacy. But reading this at the end of the year, I felt more like I'd been dragged through barren mud. Pe...more

How do you leave a mother who associates her life’s meaning and fulfillment to you and your achievements, without breaking her heart? How do you surrender all your passion to a lover while leaving some for the woman who gave birth to you, reared you, and loved you? Should a man give greater love...more

Sons and Lovers or Lovers and Sons in some editions, is the fictionalized autobiography of the origins and youth of D.H.Lawrence.

The main character, like the great writer, was born in the world of the mining country of Nottinghamshire, a sensual father, drinker, choleric, vulgar nature and a moth...more

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